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Obeying God and Asking for His forgiveness

 In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful    

The Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, 22nd February 2008, 15 Safar 1429 H, several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

The First Sermon

The Responsibility of faith

Allah says: His Glorious Book: And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil) Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in adversity, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others).. And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.  And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults-- and who forgives the faults but Allah, and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done. As for) these-- their reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and excellent is the reward of the laborers. 3-133-136

As Muslims and believers, who among us does not hope that he will be awarded when he meets God, by Heaven? Allah, The Most Exalted, has explained to us in His Book what to do to reach this gaol. He told us about the necessity of building our personality and shouldering our responsibility in being moral and committed to perform all our religious and social duties. Allah, The Most Exalted, does not want the believer to take his time in seeking to enter Heaven, like some people who think that they can commit as much sins as they want and then when they reach their old age, when they become in their fifties or sixties, they will start preparing for their Hereafter, by performing their religious duties and going to Hajj.

Allah, The Most Exalted, wants man to start, when he reaches the age of puberty, be he male or female, his trip to Heaven.

He has made man responsible for the consequences of his actions. We are even encouraged to start performing our religious duties before we reach this age, as a training stage in which man builds the personality that loves Allah and is aware of His existence that watches him. Then, when he becomes an adult he will be ready to perform his responsibilities.

Allah says: "And hasten to forgiveness" meaning: do not postpone your duties to the following years and be quick in attaining God's forgiveness, knowing thatthere is no big sin if one asks for forgiveness. The forgiveness that is accompanied with repentance which man should perform everyday. When man goes to sleep, he ought to review all what he did to determine if he has done anything that angers his Lord. If so, he will repent and promise Allah, The Most Exalted, he will never commit these sins again. He will then sleep, assured that Allah has forgiven his sins and that he will not commit such sins in the future.

And a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, meaning the capacity and not the width. Allah, The Most Exalted, will grant his believing servant the freedom of living anywhere in heaven and enjoying all its pleasures. It is true that there are various levels, but there are no boundaries in Heaven, for Allah has given those who deserve to be in paradise the freedom of enjoying all its pleasures.

Restraining anger

Who is rewarded by heaven? They are the pious who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in adversity. They live the sprit of giving, whether they are rich or poor. Those are the people who will dwell in Heaven, since Allah has considered he who is reluctant to give others as being actually reluctant to give himself, while those who are generous, are the ones who will be successful in this life and in the hereafter.

"Who restrain anger." This is the second characteristic. The pious is not the man who gets angry if he is angered, or raged as a result of the simplest provocation. It is he who restrains his anger and does not make any reaction. The Hadiths of Ahl el-Beit taught us that the best characteristic of a believer is tolerance and forbearance. "I have not had a doze of rage than one that I rebelled with forbearance or a doze of sadness, that I dealt with will patience.

One of our Imams was known for his ability of restraining anger, that he was called Al-Kazim,( the one who restrains his anger).

The pious are also those who pardon all men, those whom it they are offended or hurt will not hurt back or may be treat on offence by doing good, those who as Allah says: openly and repel evil with good 13:22, and those who forgive even if they have a right to take their right, because "it is nearer to righteousness". The pious are those who "if they do on evil", which is not only something that has to do with honor as the Arabic world "Fahisha" came to mean, but it is any impermissible act "or wrong themselves" by committing sins- because when they commit sin and disobey God they will be subjecting themselves to Allah's anger- they will "remember Allah" asking themselves how could we have wronged ourselves while Allah is watching us". And ask forgiveness for their souls and who forgives the faults but Allah", since He is the only one who forgives those whom He sees that they are truthful in their repentance, and those who "will not knowingly persist in what they have done", like some people who might become accustomed to committing a sin that they can longer abandon this habit, as those who are addicted to drugs or wine, or even those who smoke knowing that it is harmful. We believe, by the way, that it is haram to smoke, but those who do so continue to commit this sin. It has been said in our traditions that there is no small sin if one persists, then it will turn to a big sin Imam. As-Sadiq describes persistence as to commit a sin and not ask Allah for forgiveness or think about repentance.

Another saying of Imam As-Sadiq tells us that Allah does not except of any of the things that are done to obey Him if one persists on committing certain sins.

What is the reward of the pious?

The reward of the pious, whom Allah has told us in the above mentioned verses their traits, is the great prize of Heaven.

Thus, dear loved ones, Allah promises the pious with His forgiveness and Paradise. It is a prize that all should seek to compete in earning. That is why people should educate themselves on these qualities that make them close to Allah and closer to Heaven and then all those who guard (against evil), those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in adversity, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men… will be called to enter Heaven in peace.

The Second Sermon

The Judaizing of Palestine

In occupied Palestine, the Enemy's Prime Minister has laid down the broad lines of his strategy towards the Palestinians: to continue to besiege Gaza in the framework of collective punishment, as well as the series of murders and massacres that are committed by the occupation army in which innocents and children are being killed…

In addition, there is the stalling regarding Jerusalem as evident from the postponement of the negotiations regarding the holy city with the Palestinian Authority.

Although Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire, and declared that it will stop launching rockets, in return of Israel’s stopping of its shelling, besiege and assassinations, Israel did not accept, because it adopts a strategy of continuing the aggressions that are in the interest of its occupation. Israel wants to continue its aggressions and humiliate the Palestinian people on the crossings, while it demands that the Palestinians should unilaterally stop their shelling and their armed confrontation so as to beable to continue to confiscate more lands by means of the settlements and the separating wall, before reaching the two state solution which the international community is still talking about.

The Palestinians in the Authority might be pleased by what they hear from the major powers, but they see no pressures on Israel to end the besiege and the building of settlements as the French foreign Minister demanded.

On the contrary, the French President said that he will stand firmly with Israel to the extent that will not shake hands with any head of state that does not recognise Israel even if that runs counter to his country's interests. This shows how much he is committed to the Israeli interests at the expense of the Arab and Muslim rights and interests. It is regretful that some of the Arab states did not take these hostile positions like the insistence on imposing further sanctions on Iran, on the pretence of making the bomb into account.

We demand that the Arab and Muslim world should base their policy of dealing with other states on the vital interests of the Arabs and Muslims, just the states that exert pressures on us do. They view us as states that are under their hegemony which threatens our vital interests.

How will the American President end his term?

In Wellington, New Zealand, a conference was held to discuss a treaty that ban the use, storage and trading in cluster bombs which the US did not participate in. The New Zealand minister declared that most states were horrified by the extent of the spread of the cluster bombs that Israel used in the last days of its war against Lebanon in the summer of 2006. It is well known that these bombs were provided by the USA to kill a large number of civilians in Lebanon in general and the South in particular.

Thus, we hold America responsible for every martyr or wounded civilian, especially in the South, since it is the source of these cluster bombs that killed many civilians as a gift to Lebanon and the Lebanese. The American allies did not condemn Israel’s ongoing war on the Lebanese civilians because they are not prepared to hold America and Israel responsible for these Israeli crimes.

Moreover, we do not understand the security need of sending American senior military officials to Lebanon, or even senior diplomats for that matter, if it were not to incite strife and destabilize the security, thus expanding the constructive chaos the American President has announced.He does not want the Arab region to enjoy any kind of stability whether political social and military, since his imperial strategy demands that all those who oppose the American policies should fall, all in the name of fighting terrorism.

People in the region are wondering if President Bush will top all that with an act of military madness and terror having lost military in Iraq and Afghanistan and politically in Lebanon, Syria and Iran….

Does this have anything to do with what some Arab and European countries advising their subjects not to come to Lebanon? Is this mad emperor thinking of ending his second term with leading the entire world to a state of collapse and destruction.

Lebanese Crisis Worsens

Lebanon has entered into a stage of a mad struggle with several political leaders further inflaming the situation with fiery words and sectarian instigations that made the Lebanese “street” turn the sectarian feelings into a kind of political violence.

Talking has begun about who leads the others between Muslims and Christians and between Shiites and Sunnis. These talks aim at restoring the historical enmities, as if we are now living the problem of the Imamate, in a society that does not even know what had actually happened and does not rise to the level of Islamic unity in the face of the threats that challenge Islam as a whole.

All this noise has led to a state of anarchy in the "street" where the downtrodden fight one another without any cause or aim.

The only motive that has driven them to such a fight is the sectarian instigation of the sectarian leaders that exploit the ordinary people to promote their own interests. Then they would deny any responsibility of their actions.

We say to all those who are moved by the fanaticism of the age of ignorance and those who are behind it: This chaos that has terrified all citizens, fearing that it is the beginning of a civil war… Such anarchy serves only the enemies of the country, especially Israel, and that they will not raise the popularity of any leader or party.

We plead with all Lebanese that they should not be the fuel of the plans of others in a war that will burn the entire country and all Lebanese. They should all, especially the downtrodden, who wait at the doors of embassies to get emigration visas, voice a united cry: We want Lebanon a country of citizenry and not for sectarianism or the ambitions of hateful leaders